Playing the DerbyWars $20,000 Cigar Mile Day game

Playing the DerbyWars $20,000 Cigar Mile Day game
Photo: Viola Jasko/NYRA

The DerbyWars Saturday $20,000 Cigar Mile Day Game features a total of 11 races from Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs with three graded stakes from New York including the Grade 1 Cigar Mile.

The game costs $375 with players allowed to buy up to three entries. The maximum field size of 60 will produce the $20,000 prize pool. In addition to the cash prizes, the top five finishers also receive a token to play in next Saturday’s $5,000 game.

Players will pick one horse from each race with scoring based on the $2 track payouts for win, place, and show. The game begins with race 6 at Aqueduct at 2:06 pm ET and ends on race 10 from Tampa at 4:48 pm ET.

This is a big money game with a moderate-sized field, so just one good price or two medium prices and players have a good chance to be near the top of the leaderboard.

On the handicapping side of the contest, here is a look at the five races from Aqueduct where significant rain is expected on Friday and Saturday.

Race 6 Go For Wand (G3) – The contest kicks off with a field of six going a one-turn mile on what is likely to be a sloppy track. The Aqueduct main track typically plays fairly when it is wet with late runners able to win if they get an advantageous pace set-up.

Nonna Madeline [4-5] looks like a filly that does her best running going two-turns and shows no wet track form. Sharp Starr [3-2] won an Aqueduct allowance by 15 lengths with no indication that such a performance was coming and that makes her a bounce candidate. The first opportunity for a good price should be Portal Creek [8-1] who ships up from Parx and has the speed to control the race out front with Kendrick Carmouche riding.


Race 7
– The only turf race on the card will likely be run on the main track, so looking to the Main Track Only entries, Prairie Fire is a favorite that will be hard to beat with good wet track form, a great record at Aqueduct, and an ideal pace scenario.

Race 8 – This full field of NY-breds in a first-allowance will have a heavy favorite in Wasp who broke her maiden by more than 10 lengths on a sloppy track at Belmont Park for Todd Pletcher. Amos [8-1] was a winner with a stalking trip on a sloppy track at the Big A against open company for trainer Wayne Potts who is winning at a 31% clip at the current meeting.

Race 9 Demoiselle (G2) – The winner should come from the favored pair of Malathaat [4-5] and Millefeuille [7-2], but Dollar Mountain [12-1] broke her maiden on a sloppy track at Belmont by more than five lengths for trainer George Weaver.

Race 10 Cigar Mile (G1) – There is the possibility that a sloppy track may produce scratches from Firenze Fire and Mind Control who have not had any luck on wet tracks. Favorite Performer looks even harder to beat on an off track as Shug McGaughey runners typically thrive under those conditions. However, True Timber [15-1] loves Aqueduct and ran third and second in the last two Cigar Miles. Although, he may not win, the place and show money from a long shot could be pay more that the winning favorite.

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Meet Matt Shifman



Matt Shifman has been on the Horse Racing Nation staff since 2011 and currently is a Senior Writer. Matt covers Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Monmouth Park, and Saratoga in his two HRN blogs, Racing at the Jersey Shore and New York State of Racing

Matt has been a co-host of the popular weekly video show HorseCenter for many years.

Since 2012, Matt has been a voter in the NTRA weekly polls for the Top Thoroughbred and Top Three-Year-Old.

Matt is also a partner in the New York Hot List handicapping service @NYHotList where he handicaps the races on the NYRA circuit everyday. The Hot List picks are available at several ADW sites around the country.



You may also know Matt by his Twitter, Facebook, and HRN screen nameAndyScoggin.

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